When therapy is much more speci cWhen therapy is much more speci c

When people commonly think of nanotechnolo-
gy, they think of microscopic robots directly out of
science ction movies. Most people however don’t
know that nanotechnology is not only a thing of c-
tion and is actually being used as a form of cancer
treatment and therapy. As a bit of background, nan-
otechnology is the study of technology which are less
than 100nm in size and have nano-scale features and
are known as nano structures. e rst nano struc-
tures were actually not created by humans and are in-
stead found in nature, humans just partially control
the naturally occurring nano structures to complete
a variety of tasks (What is Nanotechnology, n.d.).

In cancer nanotherapy polymers known as polylac-
tic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) are used to deliver che-
motherapy drugs or RNAi to the site of the tumour,
these polymers enter the tumour site by means of
di usion out of a capillary and into the interstitial
space of the neoplastic growth (Ediriwickrema,
A. and Saltzman, 2015). When compared to other
forms of cancer therapy, nano therapy is much more
speci c as nanoparticles are able to target malignant
cells in the body without attacking non-malignant
ones. Chemotherapy is much more general and
during treatment will not di erentiate between ma-
lignant and non-malignant cells which can have ad-
verse side e ects due to radiation such as hair loss.
Nanoparticles can also deliver therapeutic agents
such as chemotherapy drugs, and nucleic acids such
as DNA, RNAi and miRNA across biological barri-
ers in the body such as dense stromal tissues in the
pancreas or the blood brain barrier which regulates
the intake and delivery biomolecules into the ner-
vous system. is allows for a higher drug saturation
at the tumour site which increases the overall e ec-
tiveness of the nanotherapy. Furhtermore, as the tu-
mour grows in size it also causes the blood vessels
in the surrounding area to expand which allows for
larger nano particles to enter into the space around
the tumour to deliver the aforementioned therapeu-

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tic agents around the tumour site. Finally, they can
also deliver nucleic acids into the cancer cells to tar-
get speci c sub cellular parts for certain forms of ge-
netic therapies (Bene ts of Nanotechnology, 2017).

However, as with all things cancer nano therapy
still has some disadvantages, due to the small size
of the tumor when compared to the human body
and the e ectiveness of the systems which remove
foreign substances from the body a large amount of
the nanoparticles will not come into contact with
the tumor that they are targeting regardless of their
passive targeting system (Nichols, n.d.). Currently
cancer nanotherapy has been approved by the FDA
but is still not the common treatment. As per a re-
cent trial of cancer nanotherapy, 12 out of 14 pe-
diatric patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia
have responded to nanotherapy and 12 out of 24
adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
have responded to cancer nano therapy and 5 out of
those 12 have complete remissions (Ediriwickrema,
A. and Saltzman, 2015). When compared to results
of chemotherapy on adult patients with chron-
ic lymphocytic leukemia these numbers are very
promising as with chemotherapy 80% of patients
will only survive for 5 more years and achieving a
complete remission is extremely unlikely (Chronic
Lymphocytic Leukemia, 2017). Cancer nanothera-
py has a very promising future in the eld of med-
icine and will one day become the common para-
digm for cancer treatment due to its e ective results.